Make It Better

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Your job, when you leave here—as it was the job of educated women before you—is to change the world. Nothing less or easier than that. For the world is not good enough; we must make it better.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Your Right to Grow

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But please remember…that no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended. Or who belittles in any fashion the gifts you labor so to bring into the world.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Writing With Ancient Spirits

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I had that wonderful feeling writers get sometimes, not very often, of being with a great many people, ancient spirits, all very happy to see me consulting and acknowledging them, and eager to let me know, through the joy of their presence, that, indeed, I am not alone.”

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Houses and Human Divisions

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it all comes back to houses. To how people live. There are rich people who own houses to live in and poor people who do not. And this is wrong. Literary separatism…is easier to practice than to change a fact like this.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Life as an Experiment

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So much of the satisfying work of life begins as an experiment; having learned this, no experiment is ever quite a failure.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Poverty and Perspective

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We knew, I suppose, that we were poor. Somebody knew; perhaps the landowner who grudgingly paid my father three hundred dollars a year for twelve months’ labor. But we never considered ourselves to be poor, unless, of course, we were deliberately humiliated. And because we never believed we were poor, and therefore worthless, we could depend on one another without shame.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Negatively Blind

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Our parents seemed to know that an extreme negative emotion held against other human beings for reasons they do not control can be blinding. Blindness about other human beings, especially for a writer, is equivalent to death.”

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker

 

Midwives and Medical Care

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My mother, who is a walking history of our community, tells me that when each of her children was born the midwife accepted as payment such home-grown or homemade items as a pig, a quilt, jars of canned fruits and vegetables. But there was never any question that the midwife would come when she was needed, whatever the eventual payment for her services. I consider this each time I hear of a hospital that refuses to admit a woman in labor unless she can hand over a substantial sum of money, cash.”

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker